Humility is real power, arrogance façade.
15 Ways to be an arrogant leader:
- Rush. “Important” people don’t have enough time.
- Look serious. The more important you are the more serious you look.
- Detach. “Arrogance comes from detachment.” Henry Mintzberg.
- Take calls or text during meetings. Now we know you’re important. Ooooo!
- Know. Act like you know when you don’t. Arrogance makes learning difficult.
- Delegate dirty work.
- Isolate. Be too good for the “little” people.
- Insulate. Create protective environments.
- Blow up. Anger and arrogance are relatives.
- Tell don’t ask.
- Speak don’t listen.
- Complain and blame rather than solve and support.
- Surround yourself with groveling yes-men.
Humility requires more confidence than arrogance. Fear makes us pretend we know, when we don’t, for example.
Humility is found, expressed, and nurtured in connecting. Arrogance pushes off; humility invites in. Withdrawal suggests independence; connecting expresses interdependence.
Humility builds trust. Trust fuels leadership. But you can’t trust arrogant people. They reject what’s right for what makes them look good, when necessary.
How to be a powerful humble leader:
- Stand your ground where values are concerned. Humble leaders submit to noble values.
- Realize you aren’t your title.
- Demand excellence from yourself, first.
- Call for, and enable excellence. (Emphasis on enable.)
- Don’t believe your own press. People aren’t telling you the full truth.
- Sit at the side not the head.
- Brag about others. Fools make others feel they don’t matter.
- Say thanks. Gratitude softens arrogance.
- Invite feedback.
- Ask as well as tell. Curiosity reflects humility. Warning: questions may be control-tools. I confess that I use questions to control conversations and divert attention from myself.
- Do the opposite of the arrogant leader list.
Teamwork requires humility. Dennis Perkins wrote: “Into the Storm: Lessons in Teamwork from the Treacherous Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race.” He became a crew member on one of the racing boats. During our conversations, he shared lessons in humility. (6 min. 30 sec.)
How do arrogant leaders behave?
How can leaders develop and/or express humility?